PRESS RELEASE (for immediate release--July 21, 1998): VERMONT WALK FOR NUCLEAR ABOLITION After a rally at the State House in Montpelier at 10:30 AM on Saturday, August 15th, participants in the Vermont Walk for Nuclear Abolition will begin a six-day walk through the hills and valleys of Vermont to focus attention on the moral, spiritual, material and psychological costs of nuclear weapons. The public is invited to join the marchers, whether for a few hours or for all ninety miles, as they proceed south through Northfield, Randolph, South Royalton, Norwich, White River Junction, and other towns. A closing ceremony will be held in Springfield, Vermont, on August 21st. Resting places at night and food are being provided by an ecumenical group of religious organizations, and in addition to forums on town greens to discuss nuclear weapons issues, there will be puppets and storytellers and musicians. Since the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, many Americans have assumed that the threat posed by nuclear weapons has disappeared. But as the test explosions recently conducted by India and Pakistan remind us, proliferation of the technology continues. In his new book, The Gift of Time, Jonathan Schell speaks of this as a unique time when nuclear weapons can still be contained and eliminated. It is our opportunity, he writes, to rid the species for good of nuclear danger and to secure the greatest of time1s gifts--assurance of a future. (Mr. Schell, a former writer at the New Yorker magazine, will address the opening rally in Montpelier.) Another goal of the Vermont Walk for Nuclear Abolition is to highlight the financial burden of maintaining nuclear weapons--35 billion dollars spent each year in the United States alone. Marchers will translate this figure into local terms by posting the amount citizens in each town along the route contribute to the total. The Vermont Walk for Nuclear Abolition is being sponsored by The First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, the American Friends Service Committee in Vermont, the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, and Vermont Folk Rocker, and is being funded by the U.U. Fund for Social Responsibility in Boston, the Green Mountain Fund for Popular Struggle, and the Haymarket Peoples Fund. Also affiliated is the Abolition 2000 movement, which consists of over l000 groups on six continents calling for a treaty--signed by the year 2000--to abolish nuclear weapons. Their sunflower symbol represents the replacement of nuclear missile silos with sunflowers in the Ukraine. Doctor Helen Caldicott, the Australian physician, has said: "There is little doubt that if the world's nuclear arsenals are not dismantled, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will ultimately be contaminated with enough radioactive pollution to create a grave and irreversible health hazard for all living creatures." The Vermont Walk for Nuclear Abolition is part of a campaign to raise awareness of this danger and to inspire hope that we are in a period when we can finally eliminate all nuclear weapons from the Earth. MORE INFORMATION: People are welcome to join the Vermont for Nuclear Abolition for an hour, a day, or for all six days of the walk. We will be camping, or sleeping in sheltered places like churches. Food will be provided. Registering for the walk in advance will help us to plan for food. For more information please call (area code 802) Joseph Gainza at the AFSC 229-2340, Valerie Hurley at 425-4112 or 425-4899, or Jim Geier at 453-2853. Donations to finance the walk will be gratefully accepted. (Checks should be made out to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington.) HIROSHIMA REMEMBRANCES Thursday, August 6, 1998 BURLINGTON 6:45 PM outside the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington speaker: Joseph Gainza MONTPELIER 7:30 PM State House steps speaker: Rev. William Sloane Coffin Both events will be followed by the floating of candlelit boats in Lake Champlain and the Winooski River in memory of those who lost their lives in World War II.